ON THE BLOG: Yolanda Alonso on the animation industry

With CARTOON’s annual conference for animation professionals Cartoon Business just around the corner, taking place in Belfast from 9 – 11 May, Director Yolanda Alonso talks about issues affecting the animation industry right now, what professionals can do to navigate themselves through the changes, and how Cartoon Business can help.


We are witnessing a lot of key changes in the media landscape, with trends showing that content consumption is shifting from linear to on-demand, creating needs for different narratives, formats and targets. While traditional broadcasters still remain the main funders of animation, they need to remodel (and they are) to keep and engage their audiences beyond only linear watching.

Producers developing animation series (which is costly and lengthy to develop) need to include the components that would enable their IP to expand to the new distribution market (OTT, VoD services etc.) and to the interactive business of video game and app development, which kids love. They need to develop their brands to work both for the traditional and the new media industries. It is a challenge, but we are seeing lucrative business models emerge and the possibility for animation brands to reach global audiences.

As the media landscape undergoes these profound changes it is vital for producers to stay tuned, learn the latest developments, meet key players of the industry and see what other producers in the world are doing. The Cartoon Masters training programme, to which Cartoon Business belongs, helps professionals to grow by improving their knowledge and skills, and helping them to understand the evolutions of the market so that they seize the new opportunities offered to them.
Cartoon Business gathers together a team of industry leaders in the animation business from legal and financing, content strategy, broadcasting, digital distribution, licensing and merchandising, and VoD platforms so that they can all bring their piece to the discussion on how the changes that are affecting the animation business can be addressed in very practical terms!

All the speakers have a very strong international background and have adapted to these mutations. We will hear how content can be financed through traditional sources and through crowdfunding, crowdinvesting and equity; how new skills have been aggregated within animation companies to create and give visibility to international brands with lucrative results; which online and VoD services need to be approached and generally where the business is going.

Programme highlights stretch from sessions on existing to new financing and funding models, and on the monetisation of platforms, with real business models! Brexit (What may come next) will be a topic of discussion too.

Attendees should go away with a better understanding of the distribution models in place and take with them solid facts and figures on how they can improve their strategy to develop solid business plans. We also hope the conference contributes to the strengthening of professional relationships within the European animation community, which is in essence very international.


Cartoon Business is offering special discounts to attendees from the UK and Ireland. Register by 19 April and enter the code SPE186 to receive the discount. 

Cartoon Masters is funded through Creative Europe’s Training scheme. Along with Cartoon Business, Cartoon 360, Cartoon Digital and Cartoon Springboard sits under this banner.

Image: Cartoon Business 2015

Yolanda Alonso